Facebook has just been hit by the most devastating public relations catastrophe to date | Shiva Vidyanasan


MeImagine what it’s like to work in Facebook this week. For almost five years, much of the world has slowly opposed services that once promised to connect the world and spread democracy, cookies, puppies, and more. But this week, after being exposed to serious misconduct and moral irresponsibility by Facebook leaders, it must be intolerable to face friends, family and even distant Facebook friends.

Recently, Frances Haugen, a former member of Facebook’s “Citizen’s Honesty Team,” launched a clever and professional public attack on the company. Unlike previous Facebook whistleblowers Former Facebook Data Scientist Sophie Chan and Hogen have succeeded in attracting the attention and attention of policy leaders and journalists around the world. We need to ask why Haugen had so much traction and influence when Zhang, who was dismissed for internally disagreeing with Facebook’s human rights issues, did not.

The simplest answer is that Haugen has pushed ahead with problems that run into the concerns of many (if not most) parents in developed countries. Instagram’s impact on eating disorders, self-harm, and the prevalence of suicide in teenage girls. This was a problem that Americans especially understood and reacted to.

In contrast, Zhang raised an issue that Americans tend to worry about: the fate of people beyond the United States. Zhang publicly defeated on Facebook in April 2021. Inspiring interview With Julia Carey, a guardian reporter. It followed the September 2020 revelation by BuzzFeed News that Zhang posted on her internal Facebook page. Long farewell note Authoritarian leaders and movements have accused the company of ignoring or denying that it has hijacked Facebook’s services to undermine or overthrow democracy.

“In the three years spent on Facebook, foreign governments have repeatedly found explicit attempts to mislead their citizens by exploiting our platform on a large scale, causing international news many times. She raised the issue of Azerbaijan, Honduras, India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador. Zhang said countries like Azerbaijan and Honduras, which are important enough for Facebook to drive membership growth, are not important enough to limit the spread of operational fake accounts that push up authoritarian leaders. Indicated. In other words, the Azerbaijani people have something to do with Facebook just for their clicks, not for their lives and freedoms.

If US Senators and producers were concerned about the people of Honduras in 60 Minutes, this moment might have happened in April when Zhang spoke to the Guardian and showed Wong’s document to support her claim.

The document is important. However, some documents are more important than others. In addition to the different subject matter, Haugen published a report from Facebook’s research department. This is a team dedicated to social sciences and data analysis that is supposed to help company leaders understand the consequences of their policies and technological designs. These documents, reported by The Wall Street Journal in a series of exciting articles two weeks ago, show a disturbing pattern among top Facebook executives.they Did not care About the health of teenage girls.they Did not care To prevent international soccer star Neymar from persuasively distributing nude images of women accused of rape.they I didn’t want it Make major internal changes to how the Facebook group works to stop the flow of false information about vaccines. These documents, generated by a research group within Facebook, show that Facebook executives knew about all this damage and how much Facebook contributed to it. So even before everyone heard about Hogen, Hogen’s campaign was more successful than Chan’s.

Campaign strategy is important. Haugen led the documents, had the Wall Street Journal delve into them, and raised issues before her identity and biography. But when she appeared on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Haugen became a hot topic. Facebook executives were expecting it.

Like Zhang, Facebook executives quickly tried to portray Haugen as less important to the company than her. Facebook’s stunning public relations department admitted that Haugen had only worked for Facebook for two years, never met top leaders, and didn’t even create the documentation she released. Of course, Haugen made no other claims. She made Facebook Research the main character. Facebook is trying to make a problem About Hogen’s resume, There is no more point.

Meanwhile, Nick Clegg – a former leader of the British Liberal Democratic Party, now heads Facebook’s Global Public Relations Office with as much skill and success as he led the party – Embarrassing When he opposed the comparison between Facebook and tobacco companies, he pointed out on American television that Facebook was brilliantly popular, as if tobacco had never been popular. The fact that both are addictive does not seem to have happened to former politicians.

On Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a note to Facebook staff, defending the company against Haugen’s testimony and avoiding the problems revealed by a leaked report from Facebook Research. “The argument of deliberately pushing content that offends people is very illogical,” Zuckerberg said in a memo.

Except that Hogen didn’t say it exactly. The important thing here is “intentionally”. She explains that content that produces powerful “engagement” (clicks, shares, likes, comments) spreads much faster than posts that don’t, as many scholars and Facebook executives themselves have. Did. It happens that anger is a basic human emotion. As a result, posts from friends and family that cause indignation tend to generate many clicks, shares, likes, and comments.

Facebook may not be Deliberately Disseminate destructive and destructive posts. But it’s in the design anyway. So it happens, and Facebook knows it will happen. But to stop it, Facebook would have to completely redesign itself and abandon its original sins. It’s a commitment to maximize engagement and growth. Zuckerberg will never do that.

Perhaps the most disappointing reaction came from the once respected lawyer and diplomat Monika Bickert, who is now responsible for managing Facebook’s global policy. In response to the highly realistic and documented harm that Instagram does to countless teenage girls and young women, Bickart states that “the majority of Instagram’s youth have a good experience.” rice field.

This is great. I’m really sick of it. As Hogen pointed out, only 10% of smokers can get lung cancer, but tobacco companies are people, even if the majority of smokers die (coughing), mainly due to leaks of corporate documents. I’ve always known that I’m killing. From something else.

It is expected that there will be more departures and resignations from Facebook in the future. With such moral leadership, it must be difficult for so many talented people to work there every day.

We shouldn’t really expect corporate leaders to act for the public good. But we can and should expect them to tell the complete and innocent truth. Fortunately for the general public, Facebook officials aren’t good at varnishing, so even though they’ve done their best to hide the truth, the truth comes through.

Facebook has just been hit by the most devastating public relations catastrophe to date | Shiva Vidyanasan

Source link Facebook has just been hit by the most devastating public relations catastrophe to date | Shiva Vidyanasan

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